Yellow Watchman Goby Care Guide And Some Necessary Words On It

Yellow Watchman Goby in Saltwater

Yellow Watchman Goby is a small and beautiful fish, with bright hues and interesting patterns on the body. It is one of the best saltwater species for beginners who can accommodate such fishes in a moderately small aquarium at home. The fish has some interesting behavioural traits that make the fish even more entertaining.

 Here, we are aiming to give almost all the necessary details that you may require if you are hoping to have one at home. The bonus thing is that your tank will glow with the radiance of the fish, but does it need some extra companions to add to its beauty? Well, maybe yes, maybe no, read the entire article to know about a unique bond that this fish forms.

Key Specifications Of Yellow Watchman Goby

The below-mentioned table is all about the Yellow Watchman Goby and some main notes on them. Take a look around it so that you get the USP of this saltwater fish.

Also Known As Yellow Prawn Goby and Yellow Shrimp Goby
Origin Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean
LifespanAround 5 years
ColoursYellow, Blue, White and Black
Size1.4-4 inches
Maintenance RequirementEasy
Tank Size 20-40 gallon


The Yellow Watchman Goby is a docile and herbivorous fish. This is a good option that is suitable for a nano tank. So, all the people who are living in a small home, but are enthusiastic about saltwater fishkeeping, can think about this one. This is a tiny fish that is found in the ocean and their lifespan is pretty impressive. The stunning colour and its standstill movement make you notice its beauty and subsequently appreciate it. It has scientifically been termed Cryptocentrus Cinctus, belonging to the family of Gobiidae.

Origin And Habitat Of Yellow Watchman Goby

The fish is native to the Western Pacific Ocean. The place where these fishes are mostly found is Japan and that too in Yaeyama Islands. Apart from these, Micronesia is a viable place where you can see such fishes mostly in Truk and Palau. The Great Barrier Reef is another option where you can find them. Also, Singapore, Maldives, and Indonesia are the country these fishes are naturally found.

Their habitat is usually tropical saltwater where there are steady currents. They mostly keep half of their body hidden inside the burrows. The surrounding is always sand-based where they can safely stay.

Appearance Of Yellow Watchman Goby

The fish doesn’t have a typical fish-like body shape, rather it has a cylindrical shape. It has unique fin features and the colour of the Goby is spectacular. The face has permanent downturned lips setting, similar to an upset feature. The eyes of the fish resemble that of a frog.


Most of the species is 3-4 inches in size, but some people have seen Yellow Watchman Goby of 1.4-2 inches. However, there is not many exceptions beyond these mentioned ones.


The entire body is covered with a bright yellow shade, and it has some neon blue spots around the head part. The eyes are dark black, offering a contrast to their vibrant yellow shade. Their colours are stunning enough to catch anybody’s attention.

Behaviour Of Yellow Watchman Goby

These fishes are not much action that could set their behavioural patterns, apart from their semi burrowing nature. But there is one fine thing observed amongst them and that is called symbiotic relationship. This fish is not good at procuring foods and anything of that sort, apart from guarding their burrows. They are not capable of making their own habitat as well. So, here comes the Pistol Shrimps.

Pistol Shrimps are almost blind and they can’t protect themselves much, so they are largely dependent on the Yellow Watchman Gobies. It is actually a mutual relationship, where the Goby and the Shrimp make a pair.

The Shrimp makes the burrow where the Goby hides and keeps its eggs safe. The Goby, justifying its name, watches out and alerts the Shrimp whenever there is any predator coming. Most of the time, the fish takes the Shrimp along with it and quickly rushes to the burrow. The Shrimp keeps one of its whiskers close to the fish so that it can understand whenever the fish is smelling something foul.

The fishes are actually not that aggressive in nature, and neither are they fussy. If they get their required ambience, they are going to thrive peacefully. There are certain things that trigger aggressiveness in them and that is to be discussed in the tank mates section because it is all about their suitable companions.

Lifespan Of Yellow Watchman Goby

The fish lives for mostly around 5 years or more and in captivity, it depends a lot on the types of care it has received.

Diet Of Yellow Watchman Goby

The fishes are good with an omnivorous diet and they are comfortable with frozen fish foods that are available over the counter. Apart from these, they are comfortable with having Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, Table shrimps and marine fish foods, along with some sinking pellets. They can also get food from the sand they are burrowing in because they are bottom feeders.

The Shrimp that helps them often clean their leftovers. Since these fishes are actually slow-eaters, you will have to keep a close watch to check if they are properly eating or not. The fish are suggested to be fed twice and thrice daily.

Tank Requirements Of Yellow Watchman Goby

Just like any other marine fish, this Goby needs a beautiful saltwater tank, pertaining to the well-being of the fish.

Tank Size

They are small fishes, so they would be great additions to nano tanks. Still, we believe you should always arrange for a big tank. At least a 20-gallon tank would be good for the Goby. You can, still, go for bigger tanks like 40 gallons.

Tank Lid

Lid is a must thing for the Yellow Watchman Goby specific tank because this species could jump out of the tank. Moreover, the lid will be a shield against all the deadly viruses and dirt particles that are likely to harm the water and the fish eventually.


A sand-based substrate is an option here for your Goby because it will be half burrowed most of the time. In the wild, they are hidden for around 10 meters, which can even go down to 25 meters.


The filter should be a good one, because the fish needs a clean environment. The water flow they prefer is low to nil, because, in their wild habitat, the bottom of the sea doesn’t have such a strong flow.


The tank should have some live rocks or loose rubbles and hiding options, that could actually be a shelter for them. You can always keep some PVC pipe so that the fishes can enjoy the shelters and make them their burrows.


You can keep some reef-safe lights for your tank so that you can see the fish nicely and its beautiful shades are displayed clearly.

Cleaning Method

The tank should be spick and span along with the substrate and other things. It should always be clean enough so that the water doesn’t carry any issues like viruses and bacteria due to poor quality. Replace the water partially so that the whole tank is clean properly.

Water Type For Yellow Watchman Goby

The Yellow Watchman Goby is a saltwater fish that thrives in saline water, although that quantity is not supposed to be higher as well. The water should have slight saline quotient.


The temperature range for this Goby is 22-25 Degrees Celsius.

pH Level

The ideal pH level is from 8.1-8.4 that makes the water alkaline.


The carbonate hardness of the water should be of 8-12 dKH.


The water gravity should be 1.020-1.205.

Compatibility Of Yellow Watchman Goby

Yellow Watchman Goby is otherwise a peaceful fish and it doesn’t generally have any issues with other fishes with a similar disposition.

Suitable Tank Mates

The Yellow Watchman Goby can live with other saltwater fishes, that share similar traits to the Goby itself.

Unsuitable Tank Mates

The fish is not good with other Gobies because they turn out to be extremely aggressive with each other. The case is quite different when it comes to their mates. Larger aggressive fishes are harmful for the Yellow Watchman Gobies.

Breeding Of Yellow Watchman Goby

Breeding is not as easy as it is with other pet fishes, because you can never tell for sure if your Goby will accept its mates or not. Since these fishes can mate if they will, there is a lot of chance factor involved that could possibly go wrong.

So, it is best about not to be too hopeful about the breeding. But if you are too adamant to make the ideal setting that could encourage their mating, then make sure the breeding tank is empty and there is nothing else apart from clear water. You should always keep some hiding spots so that the potential mating pair can have their own privacy.

If they mate, there will be some little eggs that should be kept safe in some corners of the tank where nobody could harm them. After the little fish is born, they should be fed a nutritious diet.

Diseases Of Yellow Watchman Goby

This species Yellow Watchman Goby is not susceptible to common diseases at all. They just need basic care and that would keep them healthy for a long time. However, some individuals might be sick of common marine fish diseases.


The Yellow Watchman Goby is actually a saltwater sweetheart, that beautifies any home tank. Their vibrant shades are to die for, and there is nothing that can match their beauty. If you keep them with their companion Pistol Shrimp, then you would love their friendship. However, breeding is not possible as such in-home captivity, but that doesn’t stop it from getting appreciation.

Other Similar Care Guides

If you have loved reading our article on Yellow Watchman Goby, you will love similar other species as well. Read the following ones on our site and you will be thrilled to know about their life.